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Unions visit Whyalla in wage fight

October 17, 2018

Unionists heading to Whyalla to campaign for a pay rise for working people

South Australian union leaders are heading to Whyalla today to spread the word about the need to change the rules for working people.

Unions will be holding a community town hall meeting at the North Whyalla Football Club on Wednesday October 17that 6pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

SA Unions Secretary Joe Szakacs says the Whyalla event is part of a regional tour which also includes Port Lincoln, Port Augusta, Berri and Mt Gambier.

SA Unions is the peak union body representing workers as diverse as  nurses, teachers, prison officers, maritime workers, hospitality, retail workers, child care and aged care.

“We’re coming to Whyalla to hear from working people themselves about how tough times have been for them in recent years. Of course we also know that some local workers and their families have made big sacrifices to keep OneSteel in business and the town alive.

“On top of that, other workers haven’t had a wage rise for years, at the same time many of Australia’s biggest companies are making record profits.

“Too many Australians are struggling to make ends meet - we need fair pay, secure jobs, and those without jobs need adequate support in order to keep their heads above water and the opportunity to gain a job they can count on.

“All workers across all industries have experienced low wage growth, but while we know that workers in the cities have had close to zero real wage growth over the past decade, it’s dramatically worse in the regions where we’ve seen real wage cuts.

“And working people have also had their weekend penalty rates cut too, leading to real cuts in their wages.

“This low wage growth is bad for business too, as any increase in wages flows through to the local economy in spending. Research confirms that that vast majority that regional workers earn is spent in their local communities.

“Our Governments need to end the cycle of unemployment, underemployment, insecure work, and low wages that is hurting families and communities across Australia.”

“This is what they should start thinking about, instead of the endless game of musical chairs we’ve seen in Canberra.”